Better Call Saul Review – “Nacho” S1E3

Better Call Saul continues to come into it’s own. This episode was the first that was a almost a full break away from Breaking Bad, not making as many references, but still carrying its essence. Jimmy is clearly the “hero” of this show, but again, not one you want to be rooting for, but you do anyway. Vince Gilligan knew what he was doing when he thought Bob Odenkirk could carry his own show. Without further ado, analysis, musings, and a review of “Nacho”:

Pros:

Chuck and Jimmy in Cook County Jail: We get a major glimpse into Jimmy’s past in the first scene. Jimmy is in the clink for assault, property damage, and could get a sex offender charge in addition. Jimmy was clearly on criminal path before he was on a criminal lawyer path. What is best about this scene (other than learning that Chicago has sunroofs, and people have sex on them) are the parallels to other scenes. Chuck puts his keys, cell phone and wallet in the jail drop box, much like his own current mailbox situation. Additionally, when Jimmy enters the room, he says, “Here’s Johnny!” not only another movie reference, but this is repeated in a key moment at the end of the episode.

Better Call Saul - "Nacho"

The Credits: I really look forward to the credit scene because it is different every time. This one was my favorite thus far; the law scales being used as an ashtray. It’s very befitting of the show.

Lighting and wide shots: This episode, much like the first, played with lighting like crazy. My favorite? When Jimmy calls Kim about the Kettleman’s possibly being in danger. He is half way bathed in red light the entire time, a significant technique often used in it’s parent show, Breaking Bad. It could signify that Jimmy is toeing the line between good and “evil.” Additionally, the wide shot of Jimmy panicking at the pay phone to get a hold of Nacho was a great way to say show us that this guy is a small fish in a big pond, and way in over his head.

Better Call Saul - "Nacho"

Mike Ehrmantraut vs. Everyone in the Courthouse: It’s funny because Mike’s name hasn’t even been said once. But the man at the parking gate has already shown us exactly who he is with just a few lines and looks. He really takes his job seriously, despite Jimmy’s problem with the parking stickers. But he showed a different side, and the Breaking Bad side of himself, when he chose to side with Jimmy instead of the APD (Albuquerque Police Department). And he does not like being touched, by anyone.

More one-liners: I bet that people in the biz are really jealous of Bob Odenkirk. He gets some amazing dialogue, and even better one-liners. This week: “I have been inhaling your BM, which is straight from satan’s butthole, and you can’t tell one defendant from another?” Kim also got a good line, when she and Jimmy discusses the warning call he made, she asked if it was his, “sex robot voice.” Which, it was.

“I’m here to help. Everyone. All parties. But mostly you.”: This is Jimmy’s line to Nacho when he is in detainment. The line is a great way to sum up the entire purpose of this episode. Jimmy is trying to be the hero. Yeah, he knows that his life is literally on the line, but he seems to really enjoy helping people. No matter how down and dirty they are. He starts with the Kettleman’s, but when Nacho is arrested, he tries to do the righteous thing and help the criminal out. The good thing is, Jimmy realizes that Nacho is a bad, bad man. Just not for kidnapping the Kettleman family.

Better Call Saul - "Nacho"

Cons:

The Kettleman’s disappearance was predictable: Maybe it is because I’ve watched too much Breaking Bad. Maybe it’s because I think like a person who would steal over a million dollars. But as soon as it was revealed the Kettleman’s were missing, I knew it was because they had kidnapped themselves. It was frustrating to watch 30 more minutes of everyone trying to figure out what happened, and then to not have everyone believe Jimmy once he figured it out.

Easter Eggs:

Mike’s past life: Mike brings up his time as a Philly cop. This will come up again in Breaking Bad, but in a much more horrifying way. This time, Mike offers advice about where the Kettleman’s went, by telling a story about a man who did the same thing in Philly, but was living in a house two doors down the whole time. It was cool to find out more about what Mike used to be like.

Tid-Bits:

1468729: The number that Jimmy is calling Nacho from at the pay phone doesn’t work. But honestly, if it did work before the show aired, can you imagine having that number and everyone who is a nerd like me calls it just for kicks? No, thank you.

Nacho’s name: Nacho’s full name is Nacho Varga. I really hate to think his first name is really Nacho, but there is no telling yet.

The boat: The Kettleman’s boat model is the Chapparel.

The Kettleman’s Home: If you thought the area the Kettleman’s looked familiar, you wouldn’t be wrong. While the neighborhood they live in looks a lot like the one that Hank and Marie Schrader live in, it is about a 10 minute drive away. However, that hill in the background? Both neighborhoods back to South Sandia Peak, which is where the Kettleman’s camp out, too. If you are interested in more Better Call Saul locations, you can check out this map, thanks to Reddit user Trekkie45.

No one wants to leave home: Mike says this to Jimmy about The Kettleman’s disappearance. While this could just be taken at face value, the line could mean more, especially because of the first scene where we see Jimmy in Cook County Jail. Why did he come to ABQ? Time will tell.

Predictions:

The Kettleteam ain’t so nice: Ok, so we already know that. But if they were afraid about getting caught for their money, or even being robbed, I think they may have bought a gun. Hypothetically, if I had ripped off my county for 1.6 million, I’d buy a gun to protect my money. Hypothetically, of course. And anyone who sings that many camp songs so happily and calls themselves the Kettleteam… they just have to be…doing something very, very bad.

“I will never rat!”: Jimmy tells Kim he won’t rat on Nacho. I believe him. If he did, Tuco would no doubt not be in Breaking Bad. But will he rat on the Kettleman’s? I think Jimmy isn’t the type to rat on anyone. He will use the opportunity of knowing the money exists to his advantage.

 

Music from the Episode:

The song that plays while Jimmy looks for the Kettleman’s in the woods is “Find Out What’s Happening” and is sung by Bobby Bare.

Hush Comics gives “Nacho” an A- for showing us a new kind of anti-hero, even if he champions for drug dealers and killers, and for growing into it’s own little world apart from the events that happen five years later.

All images belong to AMC.

Published by

Adrian Puryear

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon, and Breaking Bad are the best things to ever happen to me. I'm only a Three on MeowMeowBeenz. I really want to be a Four.

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